The invention is a counter-balanced, multiple cable construction crane. The apparatus for hoisting payloads comprises a crane having a lifting means, the lifting means comprising an end effector means and three suspension means or cables. One end of each cable attaches to a different winding means located on the lifting means, and the other end of each cable attaches to a different point on the end effector, such that the three cables have a theoretical point of convergence with this point corresponding to the center of mass of the payload. Three controls command rotation of the winding means to a predetermined position. Accordingly, the crane provides precise and autonomous positioning of the payload without human guidance. The crane further comprises a counter-balancing means. Two controls position the counter-balancing means to offset the overturning moment which arises during the lifting of heavy payloads.